Good Bye Mercer Kitchen

Not sure how I missed that the Mercer Kitchen closed at the end of last year. It took me on a trip down memory lane. I had been to that restaurant and bar upstairs countless times for a meal, coffee, or drink. I spent countless hours at only a handful of other spots in NYC. Grammercy Tavern’s front room for any meal comes to mind, but I will tell that story another day.

We had decided to leave the suburbs, where Fred and I were unhappy, and return to NYC. We rallied the troops, then 8, 6, and 3, and gave the exciting news to them as if we were going to Disney World. We all jumped for joy. It was a gift from the gods.

We quickly bought a home that needed massive renovation, rented a place to live, and got the kids into school. The only caveat was that we could not move into the rental until mid-October. The options were limited to a six-week stint. Fred hung his hat at Chase while the Flatiron Partners office was being built. Chase funded the Mercer Hotel. Boom, we would stay there for six weeks.

We moved into two connecting rooms, they hooked us up with a fridge, and our family became NYers again. We had dinner out every night. Canteen had just opened across the street. I remember it was very brown; that was before it became Lure.

But our favorite spot was the Mercer Kitchen. The entire city was shut down one evening due to a nasty hurricane. The kitchen remained open. We took the elevator down to the kitchen for dinner and were the only guests in the place. By the time we left, I was even a fan of the raw tuna pizza, so ahead of its time. It was heaven.

Our kids got to go into the kitchen; they felt free inside their adults’ surroundings. It was one of the most epic, memorable evenings Fred and I remember. I continued to return even after we moved out into our home.

The older I get, the more I walk through NYC, remember what was here or there, and recount a memory of the place. The ever-changing landscape is a massive part of what makes this city hum. It is one of the many things I love about this town.